Crazy Victorians

The buildings in my neighbourhood are predominantly wooden Victorian houses (with the odd masonry or brick exception). They are what makes the area interesting, but are without a doubt an Urban Sketchers nightmare. What were they thinking making us draw all those corbels, dentils and multi layered cornices?!

My neighbour over the road...

Jervois Road...

I got so caught up with the detail on this one (my local library) that it has totally slumped, I have unfortunately lost it's very vertical proportions. I'll definitely be back though and nail it next time.


Upside down on Ponsonby Road

Do not adjust your set, and you aren't seeing things, this is the view from the 'Hubcap Cafe' on Ponsonby Road. It's upstairs at the Mini dealership and looks precarious but it's actually very safe, and the flat whites are great!


Madagascar, carnet de voyage

You have to watch this short I discovered through the Urban Sketchers network. It's by Bastien Dubois, his work is fantastic and I can't wait to see the complete film. Apparently it has had an Oscar nomination for best short animation...

Madagascar, carnet de voyage, extrait... from bastien dubois on Vimeo.

Kind of like a sketchbook, but moving! Check his website too http://www.bastiendubois.com/


Thelma and Prize

A couple of the famous classic Logan Brothers yachts congregate in the viaduct for the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta.

Waitangi Day, New Zealand

Today, Sunday 6th of February, is Waitangi Day in New Zealand. The day we commemorate the signing of a treaty between Maori and the British Crown on 1840, our so called founding document.

We joined thousands of others in sweltering heat at Okahu bay for live reggae, hangi food (and just about any other type of food for that matter, even the not so polynesian Paella) and a swim. What a great way to spend the day though, swimming with the kids while Herbs belt out their Pacific reggae classics.


Once a petrol-head...

...always a petrol head really. I didn't get much time at the NZ Festival of Motor Racing last week, but here are a couple of quick sketches (done with an impatient 5 year old). Unfortunately I missed seeing some more exotica including the Amon AF-101. Hopefully next year.

Chris Amons 250F, Chassis #2509, also driven by Ken Wharton, Peter Collins, Mike Hawthorn and Jack Brabham, now owned and restored by the Southward Museum...

McLaren M4A...

A modern, but I like these stripped out Renault Spiders and hadn't seen one in NZ before...

Ex Chris Amon March F1 (has previously spent most of it's life hanging on the wall at the Donington Collection...

If only some of these cars had been around when I was designing and illustrating Eion Youngs books, 'Forza Amon', 'McLaren Memories' and 'Memories of the Bear' for HarperCollins a few years back!


Sketchbook Stress Relief?

Sometimes drawing is a great stress relief. I had just come out of a meeting and was feeling the pressure of all the looming deadlines, so decided to get the little sketchbook out instead of heading straight back to the office. I sketched what must be Auckland's steepest street, Liverpool Street, just off the main Queen Street. I've gone up and down here on the bike many times over the years and believe me it's very exhilarating! (coming up is not much fun though).

I'd like to try to sketch (and ride) what is claimed to be the steepest street in the world sometime, Baldwin Street, Dunedin in the South Island with a gradient of 35%, I suspect the granny ring would be needed ...
(image credit: Bjarte Sorensen/Wikipedia)